A devastating incident unfolded on Tuesday when a fiery crash on Interstate 70 in Licking County, Ohio, claimed the lives of six individuals and left several others injured. The collision involved a charter bus, a tractor-trailer, another commercial vehicle, and two passenger vehicles, creating a chain-reaction crash that sent shockwaves through the community. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of the tragic event, explore the aftermath, and discuss the ongoing investigations.
Understanding the Chain-Reaction Crash
According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, the multi-vehicle crash occurred at 8:52 a.m. as all the vehicles were traveling west on I-70. The collision involved a charter bus operated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, a tractor-trailer, another commercial vehicle, and two passenger vehicles. The impact of the crash resulted in at least three vehicles catching fire, intensifying the severity of the situation.
The Ohio Highway Patrol has identified the six individuals who tragically lost their lives in the crash. Among the victims were three students from Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools – John W. Mosely, 18, Katelyn N. Owens, 15, and Jeffery D. Worrell, 18. The other three victims were identified as Dave Kennat, 56, Kristy Gaynor, 39, and Shannon Wigfield, 45, who were teachers and chaperones accompanying the students.
Injuries and Emergency Response
The crash triggered a massive emergency response, with dozens of personnel from across Licking County and eastern Franklin County rushing to the scene. The injured included 15 students and the bus driver, who were transported to area hospitals. Emergency services also set up a reunification site in Etna Township for the remaining students.
Impact on the Community
The tragedy has deeply affected the Tuscarawas Valley community, with Tuscarawas Valley Local Schools canceling the last day of the Ohio School Boards Association conference. Grief counselors were made available to support the affected families, and the community came together during a prayer vigil held at Tuscarawas Valley High School football field.
Governor Mike DeWine expressed his condolences and ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of the victims. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is set to conduct a thorough investigation into the crash. Preliminary findings are expected in about 10 days, with a comprehensive report to be completed in 12 to 18 months.
As Ohio grapples with the aftermath of this tragic event, our thoughts go out to the victims’ families and the entire community affected by this devastating crash. The incident serves as a somber reminder of the importance of road safety and the need for ongoing efforts to prevent such heart-wrenching accidents in the future.